The most uncredited character in film history must be New York City. Because while tons of films are set there, and most of those are filmed there, many still feature the city predominantly in the story itself. They wouldn’t be the same without New York, whether directors are showcasing the ups or downs, the gritty or the glossy aspects of city life. It still is a place people dream of, even though it can be brutal. And it still is a place people want to visit or live in, even though its residents have seen their share of destruction.
Many also have found redemption. Based on Truman Capote’s novel, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), directed by Blake Edwards, ranks as one of my favorite New York films, with its stylish showcasing of the city and its quintessential girl, Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly. (We’ll just overlook the awkward casting of Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi.) As much as Holly and her cat, Cat, try to remain “a couple of no-name slobs” who don’t belong to anybody, even they can’t avoid finding love and a place to belong through their city adventures.
It’s enough to make you want to stand outside Tiffany’s, danish and coffee in hand, and dream about the day’s possibilities. That’s what New York still represents: possibility.
So, what are your favorite New York City films?
Sarah Carlson has a front-row seat to the decline of the newspaper industry and lives in Alabama with her overly excitable Pembroke Welsh corgi.